The calling of God upon us as his people is to be holy—as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). If we can gather for worship on a weekly basis and it doesn’t change us and cause us to become more conformed the image of God’s Son—we have not worshiped God properly (Rom. 8:29). John MacArthur rightly states, “If the corporate worship in the church leaves people unchanged the church is not worshiping.”
What do you think of when you consider the weekly and regular worship of God by the gathered church on the Lord’s Day? Do you think of the singing or the preaching or the praying? What happens when God’s people worship him rightly?
In his book titled, Worship: The Ultimate Priority John MacArthur provides four specific results that occur in the lives of God’s people when they engage in true biblical worship.
- God is Glorified
- The Church is Purified
- The Church is Edified
- The Lost are Evangelized
As we read about the early church in Acts and as we examine the work of church planting—it seems that these effects are the natural outflow of a healthy church. What about you and your local church? Are these results evident in your context of worship?
God is Glorified
One thing that must be central as we gather weekly for worship is that the service is not about us. If it’s about us—including the music, the preaching, or any other element—it cannot be about God. We gather to praise God for his worthiness and exalt God for his glory and magnificence. Worship is not entertainment.
The sobering reality is that God is not glorified by sloppy and unbiblical worship. It matters how we pray to God. It matters how we sing to God. It matters how we listen to the sermons.